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As most people know, I am Spanish. Yes, Spanish, and to top things, I am from the South of Spain, the most stereotyped part of Spain. So in this blog post, I am going to try to set some etiquette rules when you are talking to a Spanish person. I am tired of having to fight or block people because they annoy me with their stereotypical comments about my country and me. I am a bit tired of people thinking that Spain is almost an illiterate country, almost belonging to the Third World. When I talk to people from a different country and culture, I try to avoid stereotypes and I focus in knowing the person. You all can learn a lot while talking to a person from a different country and culture. I have lots of friends all over the world, and it is great fun to get to know their customs and their different ways of thinking about different things.

So, what kind of things can make us Spaniards very upset and make us think that the other person is being offensive? Let me list them, since there are a LOT of things I want to talk about here.

First of all, see the pic at the beginning of the post? Well, we only wear that dress in the South of Spain, not EVERYWHERE in Spain. And we only wear that kind of dress ONCE A YEAR, when we celebrate our traditional parties. So the image of the Spanish woman as the woman I picked for the image is WRONG. As for me, I am not very fond of our traditional dress, so I avoid wearing it at all costs. Don't mention this topic to me unless I bring it up if you don't want to be in trouble.

Second, not everybody in Spain likes bullfighting and loves bullfighters. Indeed, there is a very high percentage of people in Spain who wants the abolition of that badly-called "party". I hate bullfighting. I think it is torturing the poor animals. When people assume that I like bullfighting, I see red. So avoid that topic too.

Third, I have not slept a siesta in my whole life. NEVER. So forget about the thought of Spanish people being lazy and looking forward to the siesta time because that is not true. Lots of people don't sleep a siesta. And when they do, it is mostly during the summertime, and only because at that time it is too hot outside as to be doing something else.

Fourth, it is true that the English level in Spain is very low. Not many people can speak proper English, so communication is almost impossible most of the time. But that doesn't mean that Spanish people are illiterate, as some people have been saying. Unluckily, our educative system has never been focused in learning foreign languages till quite recently. Our children are becoming more and more skillful in English every day, but the rest of the adult population doesn't know how to speak in English. However, I repeat, that doesn't turn us into illiterate people.

Fifth, I have piece of news for you. Here in Spain.... people work! Yes! We have jobs! So we don't have time to be partying all the time, as lots of foreigners think. It is outrageous when British, Australian, and American youngsters come here to Spain to get drunk and party non-stop, just because they think that's what we do. Obviously, the image we display is horrible. But it is not the Spaniards who are partying in those images! They are the foreign tourists! So when I go to Twitter, I say "I am tired", and someone says "Too much party?", again, I see red. Try to avoid those comments when talking to me. I am not a party girl. Only 2 or 3 times a year, maybe. I prefer a quiet night with friends, eating, drinking, and having fun while chatting.

Sixth, Spain is bigger than what you think. We cannot go from the South to the North "trekking on a mule" (as someone said to me this very morning). Hello? Spain is not ALL rural zones. We have cities. A LOT of cities. And roads, and trains, and even airports. Quite a bunch of airports indeed. But, riding on a mule? First of all, you cannot ride a mule because they won't let you; you can try, but you will end up in a hospital, with a broken arm, a broken leg, or even with a very sore bum. What we ride, occasionally, are DONKEYS! However, let me tell you that we prefer using our cars. And for your information, I have a sport car, so I don't need a mule, a donkey, or a horse. Those animals are only used in certain rural zones, mainly for agricultural purposes. Another reason why we avoid those animals is because it is VERY expensive to take care of them. In comparison, a car is cheaper.

And I think that for today it is enough. I cannot remember more things that piss me off as far as my country and the misconceptions that people from outside Spain may have. So keep it in mind, if you want to really annoy and piss off a Spaniard (in this case, ME), go ahead and make any comment regarding one of these topics to me. You will see my reaction, but I cannot promise that you will like it. So this is all. However, if you have any question or want to add something, don't hesitate to do it. 

7/9/2012 11:35:59

wow, can't believe people can be so ignorant of Spain. We've never been there, but we know that the stereotypes aren't real. Especially the bullfighting one. Having been part of a campaign to get it banned, we know that the majority of Spanish people disagree with bullfighting - it's the Government who keep it alive by using subsidiaries from tourism.
The national dress thing is so ridiculous it's funny. It'd be like people thinking we wear the Welsh national outfit. Have you seen it? We can't imagine a period in history when it was actually worn.
The party image of Spain is definitely the Brits' fault. Their idea of a Spanish holiday is to get as drunk as possible and stay that way for a week. It's not that they think Spain is like that - they do it in Greece too. It's just what they do for fun. It's a horrible image for Brits to have - we're not all like that!

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Cinta
7/9/2012 14:35:49

Haha, yeah, I know that not everybody has this image of us people from Spain. I needed to rant a bit about this because since I joined Twitter I have had people really making me comments about some or another of these aspects. I thought we were in the 21st century, but it seems that people still have prehistoric minds sometimes *rolling eyes*

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7/9/2012 12:50:41

To be honest, I never knew those were stereotypes. I know there's bullfighting over there, siestas, and animals to ride....but I never got the image that everyone was doing at least one of those things, or even liked it.

I wonder if this is more a European thing. I learned about Spain from my Spanish classes in high school and college. I learned about some of the culture and traditions. But it was never made out to seem like it was "the way of life" like the people using the stereotypes seem to be doing.

It's terrible. I think in today's world there is a lot of accepting of different people and cultures worldwide...but it obviously has a long way to go. I'm going to personally say, I've never met an American who has thought this about Spain :D

As for the siestas, my understanding of it was that it could be used as a time of day to relax (not sleep only) or just get other things done. I never saw it as lazy. If I were to take a nap, or just calm down for an hour in the afternoon...I'd be much more productive in the afternoon and evening. I feel that it could make everyone more productive.

I'd also like to say that I'm jealous of some aspects of your country. There is a great history to it's entirety, a great diversity among all the different regions, and it's hard to find it on some other countries.

One last thing....there are people who think that if most of your country doesn't speak English, that you're an illiterate country? That's SO messed up. That's like saying Americans are illiterate because we can't speak or read German. I can't speak Spanish for the most part. I envy those who can. Not everyone can, or needs, to speak anything other than their mother tongue.

You have every right to get pissed at people who talk this way! We're here for you and all of Spain!!

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Cinta
7/9/2012 14:40:11

LOL thanks, Rob. I agree 100% with you about the siesta time. That's how we regard it as well, as a time to relax, though during the summer people actually sleep. At least someone understands the right meaning of siesta. Thanks ;)

And yes, it is very sad to know that today there are still people who think like that of other countries. They only show that they don't know a thing about the country. Illiterate... I know that English is very important, and that most people around the world speak English as a second language. So what? I speak both fluent Spanish and English, I can read French, and I speak a bit of Italian and Portuguese. Illiterate? I don't think so :P

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7/9/2012 15:10:22

Hey girl, you know... sometimes I have the same problem about Italy and Italians, so no one can understand you better! Foreigners think that we only eat pizza, that we all are dishonest and everything is connected with mafia.
I really don't understand why some country feel superior to others. Maybe they're envious of our beautiful and unique cultures!

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Cinta
7/9/2012 15:14:17

I think they are envious of our amazing food :P Thanks for commenting, Irene!!

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7/14/2012 17:36:53

Excellent, excellent, excellent entry Cinta! You and I see eye-to-eye on this 100%. I work in foreign fields involving mega travel to developing nations. Aboard, people stare at me constantly trying to 'figure out' what nationality I am. I always say 'the human race'. My father is German/Brazilian and they automatically presume that this is an impossible mixture. Why? Because Germans are smart and perfect, Brazilians are stupid and poor. Excuse me? How ignorant and insulting!!

I hope more people write and comment on this entry. I hope it educates people on the true core of any culture, creed, and race. Thank you for writing this Cinta :)

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Cinta
7/16/2012 00:41:48

Excellent reply, Susan. German and Brazilian sounds as good a mix as any other. Some people are just very ignorant and intolerant. Glad to know you liked my post :D

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Robyn
8/14/2012 10:58:48

When I attended college for my Bachelors' Degree, I lived in what was called the Spanish House because all residents of the house were to speak Spanish while in the house at all times. Another resident of the house was the Assistant Teacher to the Spanish Professors, who had come from Spain.
Being an American who is not of overblown ego, my feelings regarding most of the people I'd met from Europe including Spain was that I enjoyed spending more time with them as compared to most of my fellow American college students. It was more interesting. Actually talking about things that matter, discussing brain provoking topics. I especially enjoyed spending time with Ana, the assistant to the Spanish professors (my 2nd major was Spanish). I felt like a foolish young kid sometimes around the friends I was making who'd come from abroad...I felt as though I needed improvement in my manners, eloquency of speaking, and encouraging my brain to think in ways that I'd never thought before. This made me want to work on self-improvement, which is always a very useful way to spend one's time.

So that's my perspective in regard to your posting here, Cinta. Thanks.

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Cinta
8/14/2012 16:05:56

Thanks for such an excellent comment, Robyn :D

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Lisa Jey Davis
8/28/2012 13:58:01

Cinta - this was FABULOUS! I hate stereotypes, and yet, sometimes I find I am guilty of them without even thinking... which in and of itself, is inexcusable.. .(case in point, my comment about little girls loving your book on Twitter!!LOL) - But I must say, I've ALWAYS thought of Spain and the Spanish as exotic, well-educated, multi-lingual (perhaps not English) people... and though the stories of the parties in Madrid have floated around for years, I have always thought of Spain as a lush place, rich with unexplored history that I would love to visit! As for siestas, well, I am half Italian, and my mother was born in Italy - so I have been lucky to visit there and experience Siestas... and I'm a firm believer that shutting down business for a few hours is what makes people happier -- healthier! Though, I never assumed people used that time to nap, as I've been traveling the streets of Milan during Siesta and see plenty of others out doing the same thing... It's funny how we get so caught up in assumptions about places and peoples we know nothing about! Very interesting post. Thanks!

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Cinta
8/28/2012 14:17:33

Thanks, Lisa! We are not multi-lingual, though :D

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8/28/2012 15:06:31

The title of this post intrigued me. You're awesome, Cinta, and as far as I know I haven't pissed off any Spaniards. I just think of everyone as American. ;-) (<-- that's a big wink :))

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Cinta
8/28/2012 15:09:28

Ha ha! Thanks, Elise. Sometimes people say to me that they don't think of me as a Spaniard, taking into account that I write in English and I spent most of my time talking in English all over the social sites LOL

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8/28/2012 16:04:03

Well, I came here to say something about Italian stereotypes, but I was beaten by Irene :) Anyway, just to leave with a meaningful comment, Italy is not what people see in Hollywood movies... Under the Tuscan Sun and Eat, Pray, Love are good examples of bad stereotypes.

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Cinta
8/28/2012 16:55:23

I totally agree with that :D

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8/28/2012 18:18:19

I love my new Spanish friend!! Stop teasing her already, world.

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Cinta
8/29/2012 01:34:54

Hahaha! Thanks, Stephen! This Spanish friend is still waiting for a postcard.... LOL

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CR HIATT
8/28/2012 20:03:29

I can relate to the stereotypes. I am not a Spaniard. Nor, am I an Italian. But, I am a blonde. Do you know how many idiotic jokes I have had to endure through the years? Just because I have a tendency to be a klutz, can't remember where I put the keys, and giggle at the silliest things, doesn't mean I'm ditzy or dumb. :-)

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Cinta
8/29/2012 01:36:11

Absolutely! I have never thought that hair colour would influence on people's abilities. That's nonsense.

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8/28/2012 20:43:32

My parents are both European, and although i was born and raised in Canada (and still live here), I have travelled enough to never have held any of those stereotypical views of the Spanish. My sister was lucky enough to go there when she was in high school, and I loved her stories. I do have a serious question, though, because my husband and I have always wanted to travel to Spain but have hesitated because we are vegetarian (we do eat eggs and cheese, but no meat or fish). How difficult would it be to eat there if we used hotels and B&Bs solely? Would it be better if we considered renting an apartment and buying/cooking our own foods? Thanks for any answer you can give. great post!

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Cinta
8/29/2012 01:38:22

Well, I am a vegan. There are LOTS of vegetarian people here in Spain, so there is no problem to find suitable food. Spanish diet is the healthiest and most varied in the whole world. The Mediterranean diet is very famous worldwide, and it is not true what some people think that we eat mainly meat. That is not true. Vegetarians of the world, you are welcome to Spain.

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8/29/2012 02:41:57

People make these kind of assumptions all the time. It's ignorant and annoying. Spain is one of the most georgeous countries with incredibly interesting people and a wonderful history. And the food and wine.... well, yummm!!! It's amazing what foreigners think of Australians. Until you visit the country and interact with people you aren't allowed to make such negative assumptions. Keep an open mind, always. xxx love your blog :) You should write a book called the Funny Adventures of Cinta.
PS. I'm a vegatarian too Anne-Marie - go to Spain - you will love it.

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Cinta
8/29/2012 03:12:01

Yeah! Every country has its own stereotypes, but that is totally wrong. One of my students used to think that in Australia everybody had a kangaroo till I made him write "I won't believe in stereotypes" 50 times.

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8/29/2012 07:04:09

BAHAHAHA!!! Cinta, made my day! Love it love it, you go in your sports car (is that the name you've given your donkey?!).
:-)

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Cinta
8/29/2012 07:08:17

I think I made it clear that I don't own a donkey...

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8/29/2012 07:13:23

Pity...
:-)

Sam
3/1/2013 10:01:41

Funny to see a spaniard complaining about stereotypes... used against them? Having lived in 3 different european countries (including Spain), family and friends on all continents, I can not think of any other nation talking more in stereotypes about the others than spaniards. What goes around comes around.

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Cinta
3/1/2013 10:40:59

Dear Sam (who I cannot contact because you have been so coward as not to leave any contact detail), the population of Spain is 47,190,493 right now. I am sure that there may be some people who talk stereotypically about other countries, but I am not one of those. If you had a bad experience in Spain (it seems so), you cannot blame all of us for that. I won't apologise either. This is my personal blog. PERSONAL. So I can rant as much as I want about any topic I wish to. Thanks for your comment.

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David
8/1/2013 02:53:09

People use to think that in spain, we all like "flamenco" and dance "sevillanas"... And eat paella. I'm spanish and I don't like any of these.

And of course, we spaniards know how to party. This is one of the stereotypes I listened in France from people who travelled to Spain.
it is like, everybody in Spain is in their early 20s and we have so much energy that we can party every week-end...
Now, I go to party a little more than you, but not so much as stereotyped...

Do you know a videogame called resident evil 4? ( mighty corporation and virus/parasites that makes zombies). Look just at the introduction of the game: Leon (main character) has the mission to rescue a kidnapped kid "in a rural area of Europe: Spain"
I like the game, but the "rural area of europe" part hurts my feelings
Besides, all the "spaniard" NPC in the game speak with the mexican accent.

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Glenn
8/22/2014 13:23:25

Just got back for majorca, and I have never dealt with such ignorant locals. The place is beautiful but ruined by the people. From bus drivers to resteraunt staff, they were the rudest people ive ever came across.

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10/30/2014 06:28:46

I have just read your blog. I came across it whilst searching, is the word 'Spaniard' offensive. Reason being my Spanish girlfriend, who is from Almeria was told it was. Anyway, that's a side issue.

What prompted my reply was I actually cannot believe people have said those things to you. Surely it was as a joke? I cannot believe that people are that ignorant.

I have never thought these things. Its like saying, as I am British, I wear a bowler hat and carry an umbrella and briefcase!! Or as I am northern British, I wear a flat cap and have pigeons/ferrets!! Lol

I suggest you change your circle of friends or acquaintances if they come out with trite stereotypes like that, and worse- actually believe it.

Now leave me to eat my fish and chips gov'nor ;)

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ian
1/26/2016 19:39:23

All thise things are true

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